Karis Francis (Heathrow Academy), Dr Adam Marshall (Director General, BCC), John Holland-Kaye (CEO, Heathrow), Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE (Miller International), Kevin Rowan (Services and Skills, TUC)
Britain’s business and trade union movements joined forces to declare that now is the time to expand Heathrow, weeks before Parliament is expected to vote on the critical project.
The British Chambers of Commerce and the TUC came together at Heathrow today to urge politicians to support expanding Britain’s only hub airport.
The project will be amongst the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and has secured the support of Britain’s major business groups and trade unions because it is set to drive significant growth in British trade, create thousands of new skilled jobs, and apprenticeships and underpin Britain’s future after Brexit.
The Government has committed to hold a vote in Parliament before the summer, which will set the framework planning permission for Heathrow expansion.
The latest independent polling by ComRes revealed strong cross-party support for expanding Heathrow, with 75% of MPs backing the project.
The political support follows continued strong backing for expanding Heathrow from Britain’s business leaders and major unions – including Unite, GMB, TUC, Community and BALPA.
Speaking at the event, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Expanding Heathrow is a fantastic opportunity to secure a prosperous future for Britain.
“We’ll create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs, drive billions of pounds of economic growth across the country and with an affordable, financeable plan that treats local people fairly.
“With the clear support of Britain’s trade unions and businesses, our politicians can be confident it’s the right decision for Britain.
“The world is waiting for an expanded Heathrow and we’re ready to deliver.”
British Chambers of Commerce director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “Business communities across the UK are clear - it’s time to get on with the job of expanding Heathrow, and we are counting on our politicians to give this vital project the green light.
“Expansion will deliver business opportunities for suppliers around the UK, new domestic flights into our hub airport, bring in more overseas investment and tourism, and help British firms reach trade opportunities around the world. It’s time to crack on.”
TUC head of organisation, services and skills Kevin Rowan said: “Expanding Heathrow will unlock thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in economic benefits at a critical time for workers across the UK.
“With thousands of new jobs, a doubling of the number of airport apprenticeships to 10,000 and billions in economic benefits on offer at no cost to the taxpayer – we urge our politicians to back Britain’s workers by expanding Heathrow.”
Miller International board director Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE said: “As Britain’s hub airport, Heathrow is absolutely crucial for Britain and the North East to compete on the world stage. It keeps us connected to customers and markets all over the world.
“As Brexit draws nearer, and with Heathrow nearly at capacity, businesses in every region need expansion now – to open up new trade routes, boost existing exports – and keep thriving.”
Heathrow is the UK’s only hub airport and the country’s largest port by value, handling over 30% of the UK’s non-EU exports.
However, the airport is full, operating at 98% capacity. Heathrow expansion is a critical national infrastructure project that will connect British businesses to up to 40 vital new long-haul trading routes and double cargo capacity so more businesses can trade with the rest of the world.
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